A Guide to Telecommuting Careers in Government

Working from home is on the rise all over the world. Companies are getting used to the idea that the new normal means working comfortably from home. In WFH revolution, job candidates everywhere are expressing an interest in greater control over their personal schedules, code of dress, and work hours. Careers in government and politics have historically been ones which required being face-to-face, but that’s changing.

The Federal Government’s telework program is an excellent sign that the WFH revolution is gaining steam, and there are many exciting new remote positions opening up in government and politics. A good portion of such jobs require a bachelor’s degree at minimum, with at least some related experience in the fields of management, volunteerism, philanthropy, political science, journalism, or media.

Here are five careers for job seekers interested in government and politics who are aiming to transition into a WFH career.

Become an Operations Manager

Operations managers do what’s necessary to keep a business functioning smoothly. They direct, plan, coordinate, delegate, and implement company policy, daily operations, and sometimes oversee the human resources department. Other duties include writing policy, scheduling budgets, making proposals to the board about policy changes, and planning how best to utilize human and material resources. Positions often encompass the role of administrator, personnel management, purchasing, and occasionally, accounting.

Education Requirements
Becoming an operations manager usually requires, at a minimum, a BS in operations management technology or a degree in a human resources field. Some positions require a master’s degree, that’s typically if an applicant lacks the requisite experience.

Sample Program
Arizona State University offers an undergraduate degree in the applied sciences, with a concentration in operations management technology. Coursework focuses on human resources management theory, the humanities, computer systems technology, computer science, and enterprise planning and implementation.

Salary & Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019) lists the median annual wage of an operations manager at $100,930. While this data likely doesn’t take into account the WFH revolution at large, numerous organizations who rely on software and management systems have already switched their operations managers to remote positions.

Employer Spotlight: Federal Government Jobs
This jobs board run by USA.gov aims to bring together available government jobs in one place, securely and officially. You can also find information on internships, apprenticeships, how to obtain a security clearance, the civil service exam, and remote federal jobs.

Become a Campaigner

Campaigners carry out typical duties of political campaign staff, including roles in press, public relations, fundraising, opposition research and study, polling, the analysis of polls, logistics, and operations consulting. In a remote capacity, campaigners might manage professional channels of communication, respond to official communications, act as a personal virtual assistant for high-ranking team members, contact lobbying interests, schedule meetings, make cold calls, draft and send mailing list emails, and a host of other activities. Each and every political campaign or cause is unique and duties often change in the blink of an eye. This is the perfect job for someone who is self-motivated and flexible.

Education Requirements
To enter a career as a campaigner typically means at least an associate’s degree in a science of human resources field, but in the 21st century, many governmental agencies require an education at the bachelor’s level.

Sample Program
Florida International University’s BBA in human resource management. This 120-credit-hour degree is meant to streamline a career track into upper human resources management. Expect coursework in accounting, micro- and macroeconomics, organizational theory, management theory, and recruitment and staffing, among other areas.

Salary & Career Outlook
According to PayScale (2019), the average salary for a campaigner is $41,000. This data includes the position of campaign manager or campaign operations manager, but as with most occupations, greater experience in the field can translate into a higher salary.

Employer Spotlight: Democratic Party Grassroots
The United States Democratic Party encourages you to take action by working with them in a wide variety of campaigning, fundraising, and political capacities.

Please note that the Republican organizational counterparts did not list any remote jobs.

Become a Compliance Regulation Copywriter

Compliance regulation copywriters write, draft, edit, present, update, and introduce new regulatory guidelines in a rich variety of governmental agencies. They spend the majority of their time composing technical language aimed at helping officially-monitored industries comply with emerging laws and regulations that have to do with safety and quality standards.

Education Requirements
Becoming a compliance regulation copywriters usually means having a BS in technical communications, business, political science, or a related field where there was a heavy focus on composition and law. A background of courses in reasoning, philosophy, and history would be a plus.

Sample Program
Arizona State University operates an innovative online undergraduate degree in technical communications that falls in line with most of the skills necessary to the role of a compliance regulation copywriter. It should be noted that any undergraduate degree with a focus on composition may suffice as a sufficient entry-level credential for prospective compliance regulation copywriters.

Salary & Career Outlook
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of compliance officers of all types was $72,520 in 2018. The majority of positions in this field, a total of 56,980 jobs, work for the federal executive branch. And as the WFH revolution gains steam, this number is only expected to grow.

Gig Spotlight: Flex Jobs
Although it is a jobs board and not officially affiliated with the government, FlexJobs hosts one of the best resources for those looking for remote work in compliance, including roles in government and politics.

Become a Donor Support Manager or Donor Relations Specialist

Donor support managers, sometimes also known as fundraising managers or support managers, organize campaigns and events to gather resources for a particular cause, typically a political figure. However, a donor support manager might find themselves working in an office with a wide variety of responsibilities. These can include increasing awareness of the organization in need of funds, which involves organizing online petitions, social media donation campaigns, or acting in capacity as a sort of non-profit manager.

Education Requirements
Being a donor support manager, like many of the more advanced management positions in today’s business sphere, typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree in human resource sciences. However, under certain circumstances and in accordance with governmental policy, experience may be substituted for a degree. Degrees in philanthropy are also useful.

Sample Program
While donor management is not an educational path in itself, many organizations offer post-secondary certifications that can help you get a leg up in this burgeoning field. The IUPUI’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, for example, hosts a professional development certification in fundraising management that is loaded with cutting-edge curriculum.

Salary & Career Outlook
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, donor support managers and fundraisers make a median wage of $56,950 a year. The field is expected to grow by 9 percent between 2018 and 2028.

Employer Spotlight: Federal Government Jobs
This jobs board run by USA.gov aims to bring together available government jobs in one place, securely and officially. You can also find information on internships, apprenticeships, security clearances, the civil service exam, and remote federal jobs.

Become a Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Closely related to the position of compliance regulation copywriter, regulatory affairs specialists, acting on behalf of the federal government, assess the level to which regulations over goods, services, medicine, and science are being met.

Individuals in these positions work on information management, document preparation, file maintenance, and coordination of tasks across multiple departments. Their professional responsibilities include finding a way to compromise between regulatory concerns, compliance, time to market, technology, and costs. As time goes on, more and more of these positions are expected to be available in a remote capacity.

Education Requirements
Becoming a regulatory affairs specialist typically requires a bachelor’s degree, usually in a STEM field, such as pharmacology, engineering, toxicology, biochemistry, chemistry, or medicine. Coursework in business, economics, and law is highly recommended.

Sample Program
RAPS, the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, offers a certification in regulatory affairs that prepares one for regulatory and approvals work in the fields of medical devices, drugs, and nutritional products.

Salary & Career Outlook
According to PayScale (2019), regulatory affairs specialists make an average of $66,642 annually. Working from home for the federal government also typically means excellent health insurance, benefits, savings plans, and a plethora of resources for those individuals with state positions.

Gig Spotlight: Government Jobs
Although it is a jobs board and not officially affiliated with the government, Government Jobs collates all available open position data and hosts it on one of the best resources for those looking for remote work politics.

Find a Job in Government or Politics Online

The federal government operates a telework program for those employees who are interested in working remotely. In many cases, government positions require safe, encrypted technologies to maintain a secure network. Telework is a working arrangement that allows a government employee to complete work at alternative worksites, typically a home environment. Fortunately, the federal government has recognized the benefits of telecommuting work, namely, that is results in a more “resilient and results-oriented workforce.”

The telework community has experienced considerable growth recently, with pushes and initiatives engaged in all corners of the professional world. In fact, the telecommuting trend shows no signs of abatement.

Job boards and sites that collate job postings confirm this. There are a number of websites in 2019 that maintain ever-updated boards for finding careers in positions of government and politics. These include:

Kenneth Parker
Kenneth Parker
Writer

A graduate of the University of Oregon, Kenneth Parker is sometimes a musician and rarely a poet. His work spans copy editing, feature writing, and dissertation development.

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